Newbie but liking it, so far

I just got " hooked Up" with the MM"Real-time"Minlink system at 4:30 p,m, October 2 , after the training at my doctor’s office. The Trainer, mom of a 10 year old type 1 who uses a Minlink as well , was very kind and competent, and gave me a lot of “tricks” to use that are not in the users manual…Like how to get the sensor to last longer, insertion angles, and calibration standards. It is a Lot to learn, but I think I can manage it. I feel like I have a new, very important toy… that I can’t stop looking at and keep checking to see how in line it is with the blood glucose values. I have been pleased: When I am in relatively close range to my targets of 90 to 140, the most that the sensor reading has been out of line has been 14 points…, usually it is within 7 to 8, often closer…

So far , these have been my experiences since I have been “attached"
1; Confirmation that I spike quickly after most simple carbs, but slide into lows quite slowly, takes about 1 to 1 hour and a half. to get clinically low( under 70).
2. You MUST calibrate at the right time, to get accurate readings.
3. Surprise!! My daytime basals are pretty good, and I am stable for hours at a time. It is the evening basal and maybe carb;insulin ratio that need work, but I am not changing any thing until I download the data into “Carelink”, after several days wear of this CGMS.
4. I have not had an alarm for a low yet, nor a down trend arrow ( probably due to number 1 and 2 above) I learned, from two calls to the MM 24-hour # and to the trainer, that I had calibrated during fluctuating BS, and that was why the sensors were off; I had tested at 68 on the meter ( blood glucose) and was at 117 from the sensor, but that was” my bad"…inaccurate calibration.
5. The learning curve WILL be long, a couple of months I guess, but I will hopefully and prayerfully meet my goal of and A1c at 6.5 or under by the end of the year ( currently at 7.1). And I would like to get lower without the frequent blood glucose excursions
6. Insertion did not hurt at all!!!
I will keep you posted as to my progress.

PS. Now, why does the sensor package have a photo of an attractive young woman eating a 6- inch high,slice of a fully frosted carrot cake( Paula Deen recipe yummy)? Does that infer that the CGMS assures that you can do so on a whim if you use it accurately?..Looked like spike city to me, around 200 grams of carb!!

God Bless

Hey Brunetta: Sounds like you are off to a great start. I am cheering for you. Maybe I failed because I didn’t calibrate at the right time. Also, wouldn’t be able to say it didn’t hurt or that the tape wasn’t itchy (small matters). Anyway, keep us posted. I am very interested in how you do on the CGMS. Jan

Jan, thanks so much for your encouragement… I will have to say that mos tof my readings have been accurate… It even caught a low that I knew was coming anyway, I wanted to see just when ithe CGM would alarm, so I carefully watched the lowering sensor values, glucose tabs in a cup nearby. I have the Low alarm set at 80, to account for the delay in interstitial fluid and blood glucose values: The alarm did go off , as :the low was caught at a displayed sensor r value of 75 and a meter value of 63, so not so bad…We will see how reliable it proves to be as the week goes on…

God Bless,

Way to go Brunetta! Your sounding very much like me. I have the MM722 +CGMS. Been on a pump since 2005 and on CGMS for 1 month now. Thus far, things have been fantastic. Like you, in spite of that ominous looking needle, I haven’t felt much of anything. Whew… So far, the best I’ve gotten out of a single sensor is 8 days. It just seemd to quite working properly towards the end of day 8. I can have several times when my bg finger stick test = my cgms numbers. Can’t improve on that. I have hypo unawareness and this has been a real life saver for me. The “trend” feature is what I really wanted. My low is set at 80 and my high is set at 175. That way, if I’m getting high, I can verify with a finger stick test and correct right away. Prior to CGMS, I could hit the 300,400+ numbers without even knowing it. I’ve had several times when I was getting real low and not knowing it. My wife is an RN and had she not been there, who knows. It was getting to the place where my wife did not want to leave me alone at home for fear of what could happen. Now, she has seen how great my MM CGMS is functioning. I just LOVE IT!!! You are so correct about calibrating. That is the KEY to having good results.
I wish you well…

WOW, that is so encouraging. I’m hoping we can talk to V’s doc in January about a monitor - of any sort!
Good luck.
Maybe a slice of the slice of carrot cake?

After a few weeks how is it going? I have just started and didn’t like my first experience----widely varied numbers between the sensor and my BG meter, resulting in low alarms when I wasn’t low. And a sensor reading of 96 when my BG was 54–didn’t like that one at all. So I then set my low alarm for 110 just so I would have a chance to catch it earlier.

It is frustrating at the beginning. You learn how important it is to feed it good, stable numbers across the spectrum of your usual range. Easier said than done, most of the time. The first day with a new sensor is usually a nightmare for me, with crazy low alarms when I’m not really that low that wake me up all night long. Probably because I didn’t do a good enough job feeding it good numbers at the lower end of my range.

I agree with etta v, above. the first day of a new sensor is not grand… I have found out that adequate calibration when the isig ratio is close to 8 helps. I will tag a link, that explains the calculations to get that ratio, more simply than I can, as sooon as I find it. If you calibrate in times when the blood sugar is moving, the numberts will be off!!!

I find that the CGMS can best be used to see the TRENDS, not the actual numbers. It has helped me to head off highs., and stay more in range… I can feel the lows coming, and the downward trend of the graph, even before I hear an alarm, spurs me on to test to confirm… My advice is not to wait for the alarm, but to look at it at least every half-hour or so to see what is going on… and check and see.

I have found that I cannot stand the alarm sounding off ( way too loud)when it is time to enter a blood glucose number, so I almost always do it ahead of time, to avoid it.

God Bless,

I have been using CGM’s for the last two years. I love it because it monitors my sugar 24 hours. I have been lucky because it has even saved my life. My sugars go range from 45 to as high as 445 when I am sick. So I need to know where I am at all times. The CGM was easy to get use to. The taoe itches when in is covering the the sensor, but I rather have it then not having anyting telling me I am about to crash and pass out.

I get all my diabetes supplies from the veterans medical hospital. If you are a veteran and have it as one of your disabilities you can have them purchase the supplies for you. Before this happened I had my insurance pay for the supplies and I had a co-pay.

Like others have said listen to your alarms and to the calibration when told to do so. Check your sugars regularily too, just in case the numbers are off.

Hi all!!! I have been stupendously busy during the past two weeks with my job; and with hosting The Thanksgiving Repast for 17 people ( major-league housework, shipping, cooking, entertaining). Everything went well on Turkey Day, and I am so grateful to be able to have been surrounded by friends and family… So I haven’t been here at Tudiabetes . . I am back for a bit now.

Latest Monthly Report:

I like my Minlink CGMS for the following reasons:

  1. It helps spots trends and I can quickly nip an approaching high before it bites ME… (LOL)
    2…It has helped tremendously with the overnight and early morning basal rate adjustments… I have discovered that my DP is longer and stronger than I ever thought possible. I have been able to adjust the basals without getting up at 3am UNLESS I have to treat. Starting the day in range is the best way to gain control.
  2. The info on approaching lows is good for me: Even though I do not have hypo-unawareness, it helps to see how much just walking around on my job with kids in a public schools, doing regular houseworkk and going up and down the stairs, can lower your blood sugar, sometimes relatively quickly.

I do not like my Minlink CGMS for the following reasons

  1. IT IS VERY TIME CONSUMING AND FRUSTRATING TO GET A PROPER CALIBRATION I have had this device to be off by as much as 100 points saying I had a blood glucose of 105 when the finger stick said 202. I had a twisted cannula and I was not informed by the CGMS…GRRR. Trying to figure out what fifteen minutes of stability to calibrate in the middle of a very busy day is very time consuming. Now I can be stable, I just cannot stop to test AND punch in the numbers.When I do it at times just to shut the darn thing up, I find that…

  2. I do not like the ALARM set-up at all; The howling-beeping-screaming to calibrate NOW is very annoying to me. I have changed al my regular alarms on the pump to “VIbrate”; but that sensor calibrate now is extremely irritating to me, when I am in the midst of doing something around tons of kids or others…Sounds robotic and threatening…

  3. Though I have good insurance coverage; it would still be expensive to wear 24/7; so I do not for that reason.

  4. The MAJOR reasoj I have taken 4-5 day vacations form this device is the inherent unreliability unless you have a lot of time to devote to it. :I just do not want to hear it yowling when I am busy I get somewhat fruestrated and disapointed , with the CGMS either not giving me the hi alarm that I want or giving me a low alarm that is also not reliable.

It seems to be more trouble than it is worth for daily usage. I do use it on weekends, when my schedule is erratic and I need it, but then and I do have more “Me” time to fiddle with it more to get the proper calibrations.

I have lowered my a1c from 7.2 to 7.0, and am aiming for 6.5 or lower in another 6 months. I am taking it slow. The Carelink software is awesome, but I am only using it sparingly, as this much info is daunting to try to comprehend and manipulate at once. My endo is pleased; and he urged me to get back with the MM trainer to tell about my concerns with the unreliability and calibration issues… He says that MM should work with me to insure that I remain a satisfied customer and get the FULL benefits of this device.

God Bless,

More positive news: I have found out that you can wear the sensor for up to 7-8 days probably longer, but I do not want to take a chance with possible infection., the sensor will still probably work. That does cut down on the cost of replacing sensors

God Bless,

Hi Brunetta: Oh ugh. Just read your November experiences. Sounds like you are about where I was at when I quit using it. Was hoping it was going better for you, that my experience with CGMS was just all me not the system. So now its January. How is it going now? About wearing CGMS in the same spot for many days, aren’t you at risk for ruining an insertion spot. Just asking. Is it like the pump? I know that after 12 years on the pump and doing a good job of rotating on my stomach, I have had to find other areas that absorb the insulin better.

Hi Jan!! I had a great deal of diabetes burn-out over the holidays and had to take a timeout from the tedium of the CGMS,and diabetes management, 12- 15 times a day testing, logging, and finding the right time to calibrate was driving me Cuh razy on top of all the holiday activities, travel and family responsibilities… I ate like a pig over the holidays, overbolussed to cover everything and ended up with lows and highs, almost every day. I finally stopped my burnout ways just his week; Yes,vanity and a pair of uncomfortably tight pants sent me back to better self monitoring.I still have not worn the CGMs in two weeks. I am going to get back on it and the diabetes regimen this coming week. I really like the CGMS for spotting highs, when it works right.
I finally bought Pumping Insulin by John Walsh instead of repeatedy checking it out of the library. Trying to get back to the habits of good diabetes management…

I stiil do not know if this MM CGMS is the best one out there… I am thinking I should have gone with a DEXCOM. Yet, i do like the integrated aspect of the MM model.;and the graphs showing up right on the pump. I could not imagine having to have a seperate device with all the bells and whistls, that is not always with you.But maybe I would give up the convenience of the MM system for more accuracy. Maybe all CGMS units are first generation test models…What do you think? Have a great evening and a Happy New year!!

God Bless,

Here is the latest update to My use of the MM CGM, pulled from comments that I made in other discussions. On a vacation from using it and I have mixed feelings about it:

I have had limited success with the MM system. I like seeing the trends, but I am having a hard time with accurate insertion lately, and being an African -American who hyperpigments with skin trauma, I really do not like the shrapnel scars the javelin-like 9mm insertion needle leaves…And I also have a hard time when I am very busy, “babysitting” the sensor to get accurate calibrations so it fits my lifestyle rather than having to fit my lifestyle to the CGMS. The data, when accurate, is invaluable, but I feel like I have to spin like a top and think about/adjust the CGMS constantly to get accurate data…Are the other CGMS (i.e. Dexcom and Navigator) easier to use and integrate into one’s Life, rather than the one benefit of the MM model , pump integration ? Just curious…
My MM CGMS is sitting in a box with my pump/diabetic supplies. It was getting so frustrating and overwhelming to me, that the MM trainer/nurse told me to leave it alone for a while…

I did not expect that getting on a MM CGMS would be like carring for a fussy, inconsolable infant…No, not that: the fussy, inconsolable infants eventually grow up and sleep through the nght and become mature, needing less complete attention, as they eventually learn to care for themselves… And you love them from the instant you have them in your arms. I wish the MM CGMS would grow up.
I did like the Medtronics CGMS and still do, but I do not love it, like the DEXCOM users seem to. I can be away from the MM CGMS for weeks at a time and not miss the hassle at all… I am not hypo-unaware, and if I test very frequently after a questionable meal, bolus, or before/during extra activity, I can get more accurate data do not need( or want) to have on the MM CGMS.
I wonder if Medtronics is going to revise their product?? I am sure that they have had many complaints along with some who find it wonderful. Like Danielle said, I do not find it “horrible”; and when working properly, it has helped me see some trends in blood sugars so I can more accurately set basals and carb/insulin ratios and

I did not finish the previous post. My concluding statments should finish :accurately set carb /insulin ratios, sensitvities, and basals, I like this device :I just to DO NOT want to be a full-time MOM to it.

God Bless,